Network Rail

  DippyGirl 01:18 29 Jan 2011
Locked

Sorry this is incomplete have to dash....
The Times today had a leader about Network Rail and the prospect of the Govt. stomping up £23 Billion to bail them out (sorry no link Web'Times is subscription now)

Surprised not to see anything in the News ...
But ...
Where is the £23B going to come from?
- given the trauma the current £7B savings are generating.
Are the railways - like the banks - too big to fail?

Very simple question about banks/railways/ insert next loser that are about to go down the tubes > for the clever folk..
"Why cant we just let these businesses fail - like any other business would - then somebody (say HMG) could step in and buy the failed business for £1? Bit like now but you lose all the 'having to give it back or pay people off'"

You still have all the liabilities to the customers/employees (so as to save them grief ) and the shareholders are left with zip (shares can go down as well as up)... but it must be cheaper than the way they have done things up to now
-And the loss of all that "top-talent" who got you this amazing deal ....Oh dear!

[will post back when more time/info ]

  Devil Fish 01:35 29 Jan 2011

this is slightly different from the banks they where a private entity. Network rail covers the infrastructure of railways tracks stations signaling etc and is already owned by the state after the private company that ran it i believe railtrack hit the rails.(pardon the pun)

So its not really a government bail out but a cash injection

  Forum Editor 08:27 29 Jan 2011

- like any other business would - then somebody (say HMG) could step in and buy the failed business for £1?"

Because while we were letting Network Rail collapse the country would be plunged into transport chaos. It would be like letting Royal Mail collapse.

Network rail isn't like the banks - it's a company limited by guarantee. It has no shareholders, and the government has a high degree of control and influence over the running of the business.

  jack O'lantern 09:04 29 Jan 2011

I think it is about time we set up a'Snouts in the Public Trough' inspectorate'[SPTI}
The MP's voted their version out - initially a Senior Woman Civil Servant some years ado- the 'Ultimate sexist act'
If public bodies need supervision in this way then an independent body should operate with no option for those under scrutiny to complain.
Elements of Senior Police and Judiciary I guess would make up this office.
But who would watch over them?

  Forum Editor 09:14 29 Jan 2011

"Yet More Snouts in ourTtrough"

What on earth are you talking about?

Network Rail has a body of members - numbering around 100 - who are responsible for monitoring the way that the Directors conduct the business. These members serve a three-year term, receive no remuneration except their expenses, and consist of people from the Rail Industry and the public.

In addition, Network Rail is accountable to its commercial customers, who have enforcement mechanisms built into their contracts.

  michaelw 09:37 29 Jan 2011

..."Yet More Snouts in ourTtrough"

What on earth are you talking about?

Network Rail has a body of members - numbering around 100 - who are responsible for monitoring the way that the Directors conduct the business. These members serve a three-year term, receive no remuneration except their expenses, and consist of people from the Rail Industry and the public.

In addition, Network Rail is accountable to its commercial customers, who have enforcement mechanisms built into their contracts...


I don't know and I'm just guessing that what jack O'lantern was refering to was that although it's heavily subsidised by the taxpayer and it's a limited company the directors renumeration is extremely high and others have been concerned at the high level of pay and bonuses.

This is an article from June last year:
COMMUTERS and MPs from across the region have reacted with fury to news that Network Rail’s top directors are to receive bonuses totalling £2.25million despite the company’s “mixed performance”. click here

  DippyGirl 22:14 29 Jan 2011

Hi - I wasnt suggesting that we let the rail network collapse or the country's transport systems stop running (probably didnt express myself correctly, I was in a rush)
What I was trying to say is as these essential services *must* continue if a commercial enterprise (with a significant public investment/subsidy ) cant hack it - get rid of them , but dont pay them off, or buy the business. If the business is insolvent pronounce it as such and then it ofr the country (by who I dont know, If I did I wouldnt be doing what I do!!)
- Oh and sack (not retire/pay off) anyone who has failed to do their job.
Or is that only for the guys who actually do the work.

  spuds 17:31 30 Jan 2011

Perhaps I shouldn't mention this, but within a two/three mile radius of my home Network Rail are 'strengthening' two rail bridges. This work as been going on for months, and according to the information boards, many more months yet to completion. Its absolutely chaos in the areas for transport, yet this doesn't seem to make much difference to the working patterns on these two projects. I use the word working rather loosely, because very little seems to be done.

No wonder Network Rail are in a mess, perhaps its being encouraged. And I guess the above project is only one of very many?.

  Forum Editor 22:46 30 Jan 2011

Working on rail bridges is a contractor's nightmare, due to the fact that almost invariably there's a need to maintain both rail traffic over the bridge and road traffic under it.

It's one of the reasons that work proceeds rather more slowly than you might expect - often at night, and at weekends, when traffic volumes are much lower.

  spuds 23:26 30 Jan 2011

On these two projects, its road transport over and rail transport under. Under the bridges it is all scaffolded and screened off from moving objects. Trains are running at slightly reduced speeds, and road transport halted at frequent intervals due to traffic light controls.

Working patterns seem to be Monday morning to Friday early noon,start times about 8am with finish about 4pm rest of week, with no weekend or night work, except last Saturday evening when they closed the road completely from 11pm till about 6am Sunday morning on one of the bridges, that was due to moving road safety barriers and a little tarmacing of the road.

On the bridge nearest, which I pass most days, there never seems to be much activity from the 4/6 men located there.

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